I realize that Father's Day has passed as of the midnight hour, and you may have been wondering why I did not get a card from you. The honest truth is that what I want to say really can't all be written down in a card. And then again, nor do I want it to be either. After a while giving the same old greeting card becomes blasé and all played out. And I figured it was time for a new approach, one that hit me when we were at the Mets game yesterday. It's funny how inspiration can come at you from the most oddest of places.
These past few years my feelings toward you have been festering for so long. Although I am 33 now, in many ways I barely know you anymore. Most of our conversations now take place at hockey games, and those are limited too. It's the same thing when I walk through the door, or when you come home from your job fairs. It just consists of "Hi, how are you?" and barely anything more than that. They say tomorrow is promised to no one, and while we often dismiss that with a roll of the eyes, the sad thing is that it actually is true. I do not know how much time you have left, hopefully a great deal. But the first thing I wanted to say in this letter is that I forgive you for many things that have taken place over these past few years.
I forgive you first of all for causing my intense fear of rain and thunderstorms. I know that you do get immense pleasure of watching me run into the television viewing room when the meteorologist talk about severe thunderstorms taking aim at our viewing area. I discussed this with Larry and stated that ever since you hit me with a shoe when I was thirteen because I cursed you out to your face, you have been responsible for the association of my feelings toward severe weather and that is why I feel I have to stay up all night with the radio to "ride the storm out" until it is safe for me to sleep. I know you think it is hysterically funny to poke fun at my views and desire to live in an area where it doesn't rain all that often where I can finally be happy. I've spent too many years of my life running, and while I have gotten good at it, I do not want to do it anymore. I know your emotions probably got the better of you, and while you wish you could take it back, you cannot to do so. But I want you to know it is OK now. You were a different person back then. Parents are infallible too, much as they like to think they may know it all.
The second thing that I want to let you know is that while I am your son, in many ways while you may think I am hotheaded and stubborn, we are more alike as well. I know sometimes I am very outspoken and that has gotten me in trouble. But I am at a place now where I am learning to balance myself and ask whether what I will say is going to be correct and appropriate. In many ways, having a leadership role at the National Stuttering Association was probably the best thing that ever could happen to me, because it forced me to be aware of what it means to be an adult and know that people are looking at you to be a role model.
I know that you have often felt like I should have turned out more like Philip in terms of being productive and more responsible with my life. I am not proud of a lot of things I have done, and in many things, I could be a lot further along with achieving my goals than where I am now. I know it's kind of hard to not compare yourself to others, but I know now that life is not a race, and he who dies with the most toys necessarily doesn't win.
I would really like the chance to formulate some relationship with you because I don't want to end up as another person wishing they had the chance to turn the clock back when things are too late. I always used to feel so much hatred toward you in terms of my speech that my attitude was "God forgives, I don't." But now I see there are shades of gray in everything and it doesn't always have to be "either it's right, or it's wrong." I even blamed you and Mom for my stuttering because in some way, maybe you feel guilty about it. But it's no one's fault. This is the hand I have to play. And I like to think so far, I've played it very well, and continue to do so.
It took a lot for me to want to write this letter and get all my thoughts out to you. I hope maybe someday you and Mom will want to visit a future NSA conference and see what the greatest thing in my life is all about. If you don't, I will respect your decision. But it's safe to say because of the NSA, your son has made huge quantum leaps in his life.
To my dad, Happy Father's Day.